FBI warns drivers that vehicles are increasingly vulnerable to hacks

By midian182
Mar 18, 2016
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  1. While most FBI coverage these days revolves around its ongoing battle with Apple, the government organization has taken time out to make a public service announcement – issued together with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – warning drivers that motor vehicles are “increasingly vulnerable” to hacking.

    “The FBI and NHTSA are warning the general public and manufacturers – of vehicles, vehicle components, and aftermarket devices – to maintain awareness of potential issues and cybersecurity threats related to connected vehicle technologies in modern vehicles,” the agencies said in the bulletin.

    The PSA isn’t the result of the agencies discovering some previously unknown forms of vehicle hacks, so it’s a surprise that it’s taken them this long to point out the dangers. While the document does praise the benefits of connected vehicles, it warns owners to be aware of the unique threats they may face.

    “Modern motor vehicles often include new connected vehicle technologies that aim to provide benefits such as added safety features, improved fuel economy, and greater overall convenience,” the PSA reads. “Aftermarket devices are also providing consumers with new features to monitor the status of their vehicles. However, with this increased connectivity, it is important that consumers and manufacturers maintain awareness of potential cyber security threats.”

    The PSA offers some tips to lessen the risk of vehicles being hacked. These include keeping the software up to date but also making sure to verify the authenticity of the notifications; being careful when modifying the vehicle software and knowing who has physical access to it; and being wary when connecting third-party devices, such as insurance dongles and other telematics and vehicle monitoring tools.

    Last year there were several instances of vulnerabilities being exposed in connected vehicles. A zero-day exploit in the Jeep Cherokee forced Chrysler to issue a recall, and a team of researchers showed how they could control a vehicle’s critical functions via an insurance dongle.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,618   +494

    This is only the beginning of these reports, as the technology becomes standardized it will open up a huge sector to hackers, something I've already mentioned just today even. Why the automakers feel the need to make every aspect of a car controllable via the OBD port is beyond me, tunning the engine via this port is one thing, but having access to the steering and brakes is totally irresponsible and in my mind unnecessary. If this is going to be the way of the future for all cars I'm certainly not going to be in a rush to go out and buy anything new enough to incorporate any of this BS. I do enjoy a car without any electronic limitations such as ABS or Traction control, heck I'm not a particular fan of electronic power steering either and feel the hydraulic system it replaced was a much better way of turning the wheels.
  3. I would love to know how long it took them to work that out.
    People have been hacking car Computers for a long time,it's pretty obvious that it would happen now.

    Can't wait till a hacker hacks the google car and moves it across the states or in a Volcano to rid the world of at least one ugly car.
  4. amstech

    amstech TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 1,440   +594

    The sheeple don't care but buyers like me will never want that much tech in my car. You can have all that crap, just give me a 6 speed RWD, 400+HP V8 and an open road.
    BMfan likes this.
  5. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,837   +884

    Galactica much?
  6. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 808   +273

    They didn't ask for a backdoor yet? Surprising.

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